Thursday, 26 July 2012

That's it for my Olympics

Well, that’s it. My last day in London, barring accidents, for the period of the Olympics. Two blessed weeks of working from home while Olympians and Olympics fans struggle through the traffic without me.

The whole thing doesn’t officially kick off until tomorrow but I had a couple of good Olympic experiences today. 

The torch came along Oxford Street this afternoon, two or three minutes walk from the office, so although I’d studiously avoided being sucked in by all the hype before, I tramped down with my colleagues to spend fifteen minutes standing around in the sun (yes, we’re getting some these days, after months of rain) for a glimpse of the flame going past. It was being borne aloft on the top deck of a bus (a bus! I'd expected a runner at least) and the historical moment lasted seconds and seconds.

See the torch? At the front of the bus?
And this is what we were waiting for?

The best moment of the experience came when a woman joined the crowd and asked, ‘have I missed it? Has the torch already gone past?’

‘Yes,’ I felt like answering, ‘I’m just hanging around here because I like standing in the sun in the middle of Oxford Street, and the rest of the crowd feels exactly the same.’

A while later, heading home, my eye was caught by a street sign. As you no doubt know, a number of London streets now have designated ‘Games Lanes’ running along them. Some people have re-christened them ‘ZiL Lanes’ in honour of the great Soviet tradition of keeping large chunks of roads for the exclusive use of members of the leadership in their ZiL limousines.

Granting permission or issuing an order?

What amazed me about the sign is that it seemed to be inverting the whole process.

Were they really saying that all traffic had to use the Games Lane instead of keeping out of it? In which case, what were they planning to do with the rest of the road?

Fortunately, that’s not something I have to give much thought to, as I start my break away from the madding crowds and the frenzy of the capital.

Happy Olympics, everyone. I intend to enjoy them to the full.

By keeping well out of the way.


Awoogamuffin said...

I like the fact that a woman being stupid was your favourite moment!

David Beeson said...

There's no limit to human stupidity, nor to its capacity to entertain.